Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Halloween should mix the original with the risque

In grade school, Halloween was about gathering copious amounts of candy and having your mother terrified that the creepy neighbor might hide some anthrax in with the Milky Ways.

In high school, Halloween was about joking with your friends about being the oldest trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood.

In college, however, Halloween is about making questionable choices about hemlines.

This weekend, partygoers everywhere have the opportunity to banish their usual jeans-and-tank uniform to the back of their cramped closets in favor of something a little bit more ... original.

There’s something about Halloween that gives people the confidence to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t dare. Maybe it’s all the chocolate. Maybe it’s all the blood-red jungle juice. Regardless, I just feel sorry for the girls who regularly dress like they’re hopping on a table for open-heart surgery — that is to say, in very little clothing. For one weekend each year, these little tartlets have competition. Girls that usually bare less skin than Reese Witherspoon in “Election” suddenly check their sartorial morals at the door and take to the streets looking like, well, a streetwalker.

There’s nothing quite as fulfilling as getting liquored up and revealing to someone, while wearing fairy wings, that you’ve secretly been eyeing him from the other side of your Intro to Cultural Anthropology lecture all semester. The only thing better? Having to walk home the next morning in said fairy wings. Don’t forget, kids, if your costume advertises that you’re the kind of person who will indulge in a one-night stand, the walk of shame will be that much more embarrassing. I once heard a story about some poor guy who had to walk home at 9:30 a.m. dressed as a ballerina. The worst part? The first of November was a weekday, so everyone saw him on their way to class. Oops.

In case you’ve waited until the last minute and still don’t have a clue what to dress up as this year, I’ve taken the liberty of thinking up a few suggestions, ranging from hooker to class act, from which to choose, according to your personal tramp preference. From this point forward, we will euphemistically refer to this skank factor as the broadometer.

Michelle Obama: Belted plaid cardigan, full pleated skirt, pointy flats.

Broadometer: Zero. Hello, it’s the first lady! Though, if you really wanted to be risqué, I suppose you could make it a mini-pleated skirt.

Cast of “Gossip Girl”: This style-centric teen drama has some of the best costumes in the business, so pick your favorite character and go to town.

Broadometer: 2.5 (Blair)—8.6 (Serena). Depending on your level of modesty, there’s a look for everybody. Conservative gals can don a bowed headband and go as Miss Waldorf, while the risk-takers can take a cue from Serena. (Seriously, the level of cleavage she’s been revealing lately is unbelievable. Who’s allowed to go to work like that?) And if you want to go with a more traditional, gothic Halloween look — in the same vein as zombies and Frankenstein’s monster — just pile on the eyeliner and go as Jenny.

Adam and Eve: Get some flesh-colored undergarments — or not — and accessorize with leaves.

Broadometer: 10. I mean, you’re basically naked. It doesn’t get much more scandalous than that.
Personally, I think a more admirable alternative to dressing like a strumpet is to use Halloween as an opportunity to test out a fashion trend you’re otherwise too scared to try. Looking for an excuse to buy aviators? Guys, go as Michael Jackson; ladies, Amelia Earhart. Not sure if you can pull off rompers? Dress up as anything in a uniform — a mailman, UPS delivery person, etc. Craving the opportunity to don some sparkly latex? Give David Bowie a try.

If you’re looking to go pants-less this Hallows Eve but want something more original than the Queen of Leotards, Lady Gaga, I say dress up as my favorite muse, Edie Sedgwick. Pull on some black tights, a striped shirt and a fur jacket. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you to star in their next movie project.

Really, the costume possibilities are endless. Just use a little creativity and have fun with it. So enjoy a safe and happy Halloween, boys and girls.

Be sure to check your candy for suspicious punctures and maybe throw a big sweatshirt into your bag for the morning after. You know, just in case.

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